- By Sophie Arni
Is the Louvre Abu Dhabi a new Louvre for the 21st century? This museum is certainly making global art history. The city of Abu Dhabi - which we know very, very well - has accomplished the impossible with an architectural masterpiece by Jean Nouvel and an exceptionally sharp collection of artworks amassed in only 10 years. We were especially impressed with the impeccable display of objects. Of course the innovative cross-cultural curation is worth a mention, as the Louvre Abu Dhabi curators managed to present human history on a horizontal plane instead of the usual linear narrative. Heritage of the original French Louvre is still present in the paintings gallery, presenting Bonaparte on his horse. That he is galloping in Abu Dhabi is telling of a larger shift: centuries of European supremacy are coming to an end. Here is to a new world, a world focused on fusions and dialogues taking place in the UAE.
Link to my essay on the Louvre Abu Dhabi, written in 2016, a year before its grand opening. I raised similar questions two years ago - but grounded my understanding of this museum within the greater Abu Dhabi art scene context. I was really excited for this museum to finally open. It surely didn't disappoint.